Fostering

Become a foster carer

Foster carers can be single, living with a partner or married. Local authorities are required by law to recruit carers who reflect the local community. This means foster carers can come from all ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. They may have their own children, have step or adopted children, or not have any children at all.

We welcome carers from a variety of different backgrounds so we can meet the wide-ranging needs of the children and young people who are looked after.

However, there are some qualities that are important for all foster carers to have. For example, you definitely need to like children and young people! You will already have some of the qualities and experience that effective foster carers need and we will offer training to develop others.

Fostering is not like any other work

Fostering is very rewarding but can also be demanding. Children or young people and their families can be very challenging. Working in partnership with many different people can be difficult.

Fostering involves the whole family and will take place in your own home. You must be able to pay special attention to your own children's needs and recognise when they need help from someone else to solve a problem or relieve stress.

If you want to become a foster carer, it is very important that you have enough information to help you decide whether fostering is right for you and your family. You also need to decide whether this is the right time for you to be fostering.

Hear about fostering from foster carers

The Make a Difference - Foster a Child website has a range of videos where you can hear carers talking in their own words about their experiences of fostering. Topics include:

  • meet the carers
  • why foster
  • what you will need to know
  • the first visit
  • training and support
  • the decision-making process
  • advice for new carers
  • make a difference

Find out more

If you would like to speak to someone about fostering, contact the family placement team.

Adoption, fostering and kinship care resources